Fremantle Stuff > Buildings > Henry Briggs's house
28 Fothergill St
In 1899, Henry Briggs was recorded as the owner of Lots 25, 30, 31, and 32 of Fremantle Town Lot 798, and in the following year, a residence in the Federation Queen Anne style was built for him at the place (the present 28 Fothergill Street). It was constructed of brick with an iron roof, on a limestone foundation, and with limestone walls to the basement.
The Hon. Henry Briggs, JP, MLC, President of the Legislative Council, (b. Kettering, Northamptonshire), later Sir Henry Briggs, was educated in England, and reached the position of Head Master of the Mottram Grammar School before being nominated by the Board of Governors to come to Western Australia in 1882, to establish Fremantle Grammar School, where he remained until 1897. He maintained a lifelong interest in education, and served as a member of an early Commission into technical education, served as a Trustee of the Public Library, Museum, and Art Gallery from 1903, and he was also a member of the Royal Commission on the establishment of a University in Western Australia.
In 1895, Henry Briggs was appointed a Justice of the Peace; and in 1896, he was elected to the Legislative Council. He was President of the Fremantle Branch of the Western Australian Federation League; and in 1897-98, he was one of the Western Australian representatives at the Sydney and Melbourne Sessions at the Australian Convention, which framed the Constitution. From June 1900 to June 1906, he was Chairman of the Committees; and in 1906, he succeeded Sir George Shenton as President of the Council.
On completion, Henry Briggs took up residence at the place in 1901, where he continued to reside until 1920. Following the introduction of street numbers, the place was numbered 60 John Street from c. 1904.
A Sewerage plan (1908) shows the place with a verandah at the front, extending to the front boundary, and a verandah at the western side, at the northwest corner of the house. In the rear yard, there are two water tanks located at the north of the house; an earth closet located by the eastern boundary; and two galvanised iron outbuildings adjacent to the rear boundary at the north-east and north-west corners of the yard. At the east side, the residence is built to the boundary of the lot and Swanbourne Street.
In February 1920, the place was transferred from Sir Henry Briggs to Edmond Power Dowley, who took up residence at the place. The place continued to be occupied by the Dowley family, and was transferred to his daughter, Agnes Mary Elizabeth Dowley. In 1939, she was granted approval to have a garage constructed of jarrah timber with asbestos lining and with a corrugated iron roof erected at an estimated cost of £20, and it was duly built by A. Vernede. She continued to own the place after her marriage to Arthur Trevorah (c. 1941), until it was sold in the mid-1960s. After a brief ownership by M. Del Popolo, during which it was rented to a tenant, the place was transferred to Mary Irene Miragliotta who occupied it from the mid-1960s, and through the early to mid-1970s.
In the 1960s and 1970s, various health orders for the place were issued by the Fremantle City Council. In 1962, the order included works to repair and make sound the verandah, repair and replacement of the roof to render it waterproof, and demolition of a shed adjacent to the rear door of the dwelling; and in 1977, the order included repairs to the fretted brickwork and eroded limestone in the walls, repairs to the roof and the corroded guttering on the verandah.
Heritage Council, Fothergill St Precinct, online, from which the above is taken.
Garry Gillard | New: 6 February, 2016 | Now: 17 November, 2018